No matter what your income level is, learning how to save a little money each month can be tough.
But if you’re dealing with a change in income, mounting debt, or if you exhausted your emergency fund due to an unexpected need, then saving up will be a huge help in regaining your financial health.
So if you are struggling to find extra cash in an already tight budget, try giving some of these following items or habits the boot and put your money towards your savings instead.
This may be a tough one if you are used to hitting up your favorite restaurants for a takeout.
You can save quite a bit by making all of your meals at home, including breakfast and lunch.
If you still want a night out, eat the majority of your meals at home and go out for dessert like ice cream as a special treat.
If you’re making meals at home, try making several meals at once in larger portions. You can freeze extras for another quick go-to dinner or pack leftovers for the next day’s lunch. By stretching those meals, you’ll also be stretching your dollars. Weekly meal planning is another great way to save money.
Expensive coffee orders
Your daily coffee habit may be costing you more than you think. Instead of stopping at your local chain for specialty drinks, bring your favorites from home. In fact, put that money into a jar instead. You may be surprised by how much you have saved at the end of the month. To save even more money, try kicking that caffeine habit altogether. You will also start to see your health improve!
This can be difficult to justify, especially if you use your gym regularly. But let’s be honest here, most people don’t. Belonging to a gym is a non-essential when it comes to taking a hard look at your budget. Choose physical activities that are free instead like working out at home, walking, running, swimming, and biking to name a few. Any number of options will keep you in shape and can even be enjoyed with friends or family.
Relying on credit cards
Credit cards can be a great option in a pinch and may provide benefits if you pay them in full each month (reward points). However, if you don’t, the additional charges can add up quickly. When you are first trying to save, pay for everything upfront and with cash. It will force you to deal with what you have in the bank and live within your means.a